LIAM Farrell admits he was taken aback by his swift elevation onto the international stage.
But the Warriors back-row is determined to prove he’s not there to make up the numbers.
Farrell was a surprise call-up to Steve McNamara’s England squad for the upcoming matches against France and Wales, after Warrington’s Ben Westwood pulled out through injury.
Having made his England debut in the second Exiles match this year, Farrell remained in McNamara’s thoughts with a solid end to the Super League campaign.
And instead of going away with the England Knights, he been in South Africa this week for some warm-weather training and squad bonding with the big boys.
“It’s great being around so many experienced, senior players,” Farrell acknowledged.
“The intensity of the sessions has been really high.
“I’m under no illusions that there are people missing from my position, but that’s rugby league.
“And it gives me a chance to hopefully try and do well.”
He also admits the presence of Wigan team-mates Sam Tomkins, Sean O’Loughlin, Gareth Hock, Josh Charnley, Lee Mossop and Mike McIlorum has eased his transition into the full squad.
“I was in the Knights squad earlier this year and I was the only Wigan player, so this has been good to have some familiar faces and also getting to know the other lads,” he added.
“It’s been good. When we first got here it was a thunder storm and we thought, ‘Where’ve we come?’ but since then it’s been great, high-20s.
“We went to a safari on Sunday, it’s been a really good camp.”
France and Wales kick off the mini-competition this Saturday, with England starting their campaign the following Saturday against Wales in Wrexham, followed by a clash against France at Hull KR the following week.